Will Bueché

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Some colors are heavy

Posted in Dream by Will on Monday, March 30th, 2009 ~ 10am

I had a dream this morning that I was an Asian-American superhero with long purple hair who had just learned to fly (albeit not terribly well, yet), who had to now come up with a name for himself. Inspired by the trippy observation that “some colors are heavy”, he decided upon a name.

“It’s more than a name, it’s a sentence!” he explained to his friend excitedly: “Some Kind of Heavy“. And when he was not being a “heavy” (someone who has to use force), he’d be “Some Kind of Color”, in reference to his purple hair. So if he was visiting a kid’s birthday party as a surprise guest for example, he’d be called “Some Kind of Color”, but when newspaper headlines were written about him having captured some criminals, they’d call him “Some Kind of Heavy”. It was a mood indicator of sorts.

Although not included in the dream, he would be referred to as “Somekind” when he was doing interviews with the television personalities. Which he thought was nice — a superhero with kindness in his name.

The sentence also made for a hell of a tattoo across fans’ backs.

Flying was an improvement over his most recent form of travel, which was a little red scooter that topped out at about 25 miles per hour. Did I mention that his superhero costume was a suit? A suit like a scooter-riding mod would wear. A suit jacket and suit pants, and a light shirt. And his hair tended to blow around too much when flying, leaving him with bed-head whenever he landed.

I’m not sure if he had any super powers beyond flying. His sense of direction wasn’t too good, either.

In one scene, he picked up a sea lion in an attempt to give the animal a thrill, but, contrary to cartoon personalities, became violently agitated at being 30 feet off the ground and barked and tried to bite him — causing him to have to drop the sea lion to a rather gruesome death on the streets below. Hopefully no one saw.

Not yet available screensaver

Posted in Personal by Will on Monday, March 30th, 2009 ~ 12am

I am impressed, and can hardly wait for the guy to finish it.

Dreams

Posted in Dream by Will on Monday, March 30th, 2009 ~ 12am

I dreamed that a bad guy played by Robert Downey Jr. had booby trapped a New York apartment, and then communicated via cell phone with the FBI agents sent in to the scene. Keanu Reeves was among the agents who were sent in to find out what was behind the traps. Even the lobby vending machine was booby trapped with poisoned chocolate-chip cookies. Which I will admit, my self-character (an FBI agent) ate. Fortunately I did not die, since I was after all dreaming the dream. I did however manage to trip several other of the traps that would cause the entire building to seal and then self-destruct. The doorbell was rigged, too. And when I’d tripped that one too, my fellow agent, a woman I liked, was trapped inside with the others — metal doors sliding over the windows and doors, shortly before the blast that I knew would come. Basically if a certain number of triggers were tripped, the building would self destruct. There was also a scene where a criminal kept his incriminating evidence inside of basketball-sized wads of explosives, so, the feds could take it, but the risk was too huge. It was not a good dream.

I also dreamed of a basement with a large saucer-shaped, cement structure that was incredibly hot. It was some kind of engine, and used water. I also dreamed of being in a claustrophobia-inducing curved room in which the only way out was to slide along a wall, into a sort of inner-wall (two walls in parallel, curving around) which became narrower and narrower as one slide further, until I was afraid my skull would get stuck. I just about melted down a foot or two shy of the door.

Unpleasant. But the first bit did make me wonder if Robert Downey Jr and Keanu Reeves have been in a film together. They should have been. One actor really gets into character, and one can’t seem to get out of an oft-mocked character. They’d be interesting to see up against each other.

Inspirations: The tv show Dollhouse made me dream of a house. The movie Saw probably were an influence too. A bit of Mulder and Scully in the FBI response from having wondered earlier that night if I should get the X-Files sequel on video.

We're in the Dollhouse

Posted in Personal by Will on Sunday, March 29th, 2009 ~ 10pm

A Whedonesque blogger, Patrick, wrote a good essay about Joss Whedon’s new tv series Dollhouse (watch it!). And although I cannot critique his comments about communism, I liked what he had to say about capitalism, particularly the line “In the U.S., one of the first questions people ask is “What do you do…?” However, I’ve always heard that question fades in importance the less capitalistic a society is. At least until you get into a caste system, which is the other extreme.” I’d welcome that kind of difference, I think.

Here is the essay. It begins with a reference to an earlier comment; just disregard that.

“So… I’d just like to point out as someone who has read “Rossum’s Universal Robots” that the robots in the story:

A) Are never identified as overtly machines in the circuits and gears sense but are simply programmable servants. Like the Dolls.

B) Are a Marxist analogy for the working class. Could Joss be pulling a bit of a bait and switch with this show? The obvious direction of the show, thematically, would suggest that it’s very much about the exploitation of women and builds on Joss’ “feminist cred”. But what if feminism is a red herring for a Marxist message?

In other words, we get drawn in with the idea of women being objectified/exploited. But maybe the mostly female cast is there partly as a red herring and partly because Joss likes writing female characters? The real message is about the exploitation of workers and, in particular, the exemplification of the capitalist/American idea that what you do for a living is who you are.

In the U.S., one of the first questions people ask is “What do you do…?” However, I’ve always heard that question fades in importance the less capitalistic a society is. At least until you get into a caste system, which is the other extreme.

Capitalism as an ideology is all about managing people’s impulses and desires by relationship and status, the idea that people’s ambitions will cause them to play certain roles that, on the whole, create a society of excellence. The spirit of individualism, which comes from the more appealing side of capitalism, pushes people to occupy roles of necessity.

However, the flipside is that in a more collectivist society, if you have a communist government, a theocracy or a tyrannical state, people also wind up occupying prescribed roles out of a kind of necessity.

Basically, any system that governs people forces roles on them. We’re all dolls, just more specialized. We learn skills and facts to do certain jobs and perform certain roles. A cop learns forensics and how to use a gun to be a cop. An artist learns painting and aesthetics and art history to be an artist. Whether by economic or political force, people tend to program themselves or be programmed for jobs or roles.

If the Dollhouse causes us to view this as sinister then maybe what Joss is arguing is basically for the idea of the classical liberal arts education, learning for the sake of learning, experiencing the world for the sake of experiencing it.

The underlying message of the show could well be, “Learn Swahili even if you don’t plan to visit Africa. Learn recipes to cook in your own home, not to get a job or entertain guests but simply to share and enjoy. Learn forensics and physics and astronomy even if you don’t fight crime or build rockets or own a telescope. Useless information is the best kind. Learn and grow for the sake of expanding your mind, not fulfilling some objective that other people or circumstances impose on you.”

Patrick | March 29, 13:25 CET

Here’s a pic from Whedon’s early hit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This pic is famous for punning on the hammer and sickle logo. But was it only a pun?

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